Marketing is so complicated. It’s just like courting the girl of your dreams or flirting with Mr. Right. Since it’s the month of love, I’ll oftentimes relate business to relationships. I have loved studying and practicing marketing all my life and yet, even with all the knowledge that I have, I still make mistakes.
You might say, “Arrrrgh, really, Ginger. How can we trust anything you say, now that you have admitted to failing?” Being the perfectionist that I am, I actually hate failing, but a friend recently reminded me again that it’s okay to fail. We, honestly, learn new things (and I’m not saying this as a scapegoat for my failures. It’s really true that you get to learn.) from stumbles, roadblocks and challenges. So, today, I have done some retrospection and have recalled the times when I have failed in marketing, and I will share with you the reasons why I failed.
Reasons why I failed in some Marketing Strategies? (Hope you really read these!)
#1 I identified and tapped the wrong market / audience
What is prevalent when you talk to business owners is that they want to sell their product to everyone. Well, this marketing disease has been there for ages, so this no-no strategy is not new. For those though who have identified a market for their product or brand, we fail in marketing because we have identified the wrong market.
Why do we fall into this trap? Well, just like relationships, some of us just jump the gun and ask someone to be our other half without truly knowing him / her. We make conclusions and we expect that person to be Mr. or Ms. Right just because we have spent days with him / her, bashing in the rays of sweetness, daydreaming about a perfect life together. In business, we oftentimes, make conclusions, too. We, especially if we are a part of that market, think that our needs are similar to everyone in our circle. The likelihood of this is greater, but not always correct. We cannot generalize or assume this to be true. Another thing is that the market that we have identified may be too small for business or brand longevity. When you segment the market, be sure that the market you have identified can sustain your business.
What you can do?
Validate your assumptions by talking to other representatives of the market that you have identified and look at the size of the market.
#2 We started with “Execution” when the “Strategy” wasn’t in Place yet
Have you ever just blurted out something to a loved one, without really thinking about the words, and you probably did this because you were so emotional and wanted to tell him / her how you felt? Then, soon after, you realize the big mess that you got yourself into and regret it for the rest of your life.
Well, in marketing, a lot of times, we also make the same big mistake. We get so excited with producing a video, a marketing collateral, a super nice poster, etc. just because that “brilliant” idea for execution hits us without even thinking about the overall strategy for our product and brand. Also, sometimes, we just execute because everyone’s doing the same thing, even if the campaign is not really aligned with our brand.
What you can do?
Start with developing the strategy and the plan first!
#3 We are so full of ourselves and our idea that we fail to listen and tell our market what they need to hear
In relationships, most of the time, we feel like we have been giving our all, but we actually fail to listen and tell our partners what they NEED to hear. We keep on giving unsolicited advice. We keep on nagging. Bottomline is, we fail to listen. A simple “It will be okay. Everything will be fine” or just a kiss or a hug may be all that he / she needs.
In marketing, we sometimes make the mistake of bombarding our potential customers with messages that they don’t really want to hear. We tell them so many things that they end up running away overwhelmed or uninterested.
What you can do?
We need to learn how to listen and say only things that matter.
There are other marketing lessons that I have learned. I may need to share it with you on another day. How about you? Want to share with us what marketing lessons you have learned?
Have a happy love month!
PS. Here are some marketing courses that you might want to enroll in 🙂